Self-Love with Celiac

Self love

It sounds so simple. Just give yourself a mental hug! So logical. After all, who in this self-centered culture is better than Numero Uno? Yet, more this week than perhaps any other, I have found myself looking in the mirror and struggling to love the girl that looks back at me.

Sometimes the mirror isn't so friendly...

I could blame it on mere hormones. As countless novels, TV shows and parently complaints have shown, estrogen and growing pains don't coexist peacefully. Instead, they fight, they burn holes in our confidence and they trigger some intense bonding sessions with a tub of Ben and Jerry's.

But it's more than that. When I look in the mirror, I don't dislike seeing Casey. I hate seeing celiac's fingerprints all over my reflection. I see celiac in the bony shoulders that protrude through my t-shirt, uncovered by a 15 lb weight loss that I still haven't fixed. I see celiac in my skin, which still lacks the nutrients to be clear and smooth. And I see celiac in my tears, which have stained my face this freshman year of college far too often.

Gotta love this post-hospital photo ops!

Yes, part of my issue is pure vanity. I want to be beautiful - to feel beautiful - just like every other girl. Beyond this vanity, though is anger

Anger at the body that I fill with nutritious fuel - meats, vegetables, fruits, nut butters and more! - yet refuses to gain. Anger at the body that still doesn't have the reserve or joint health to run. Mostly, though, it is anger at the adolescence this body conveys. I walk around campus and can't help but stare at the other girl's curves and shining faces - so mature and wordly compared to my own. 

As I stare in the mirror, I ask myself how I can love a body that has betrayed - is still betraying - me in these ways? 

But now, I want to ask, how can I not?

How can I not love the body that has fought - and is still fighting - for me? The body that survived a freshman year at college and hospitalization when my doctors had doubts? The body that allows me to feel the sun on my face, taste banana ice cream on my tongue and laugh with my friends?

My body lets me laugh like this!

Self love isn't as simple or logical as it seems and neither is celiac. That doesn't mean that they aren't worthy goals. Or that they can't live in harmony.

It's true that right now, the girl in the mirror doesn't fit my mental image. She isn't athletic or mature or conventionally pretty. But she is strong in determination, old in experience, and beautiful in resilience. And I can't hate her for any of those things. Instead I must - I will - love that self, the self that I am today

And with this love, who knows who will stare back at me tomorrow


Has celiac ever affected your self image? What are your tips to love your body, despite its faults? Comment below! 

Check out my link of this article here!



Comments

  1. Love yourself Casey and others will follow suit. I know it sounds cliche, but it's all I got right now. My heart breaks for you and if there is anything I can do, do not hesitate to call on me. The community is behind you.

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    1. Thanks for the advice, no matter how cliche. You and the gluten free community already do so much for me, just by commenting and giving me support. Stay awesome and I'll do my best to do the same :)

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  2. I know that there aren't many words that others can say to make you feel better when it comes to self-love. I do want to tell you though, from the bottom of my heart, that you are one of the most incredible friends that I have ever had in my entire life. It took me twenty years to find a friend as special as you are. Gluten free or not, you are and always will be Casey- one of my best friends. I'll be praying that you can have clear vision to see that through your own eyes soon!

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    1. Awww Kendall you're gonna make me cry! Honestly, you have been one of the very best parts of my freshman year. You have been with me through every health setback, every hard class, and every ranting session about art. I feel so blessed to have met you and am trying really hard to not think about what I'll do next year! You are literally one of the only people I've ever been able to talk to about anything, and I can't thank God enough for putting you into my life when I needed a best friend the most. I will miss you next year, but I know you are going to do amazing, kick-butt lawyer things and touch even more lives. Stay awesome Kendall. And even after next week, stay in touch - or else ;) Love ya girl!

      Casey :)

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